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SmackDown Rundown (1/14/16): The Good, The Bad, and The Nicely Done


Henrinites, make some noise! Welcome to another edition of SmackDown Rundown! Ricky here, bringing you another play-by-play discussion of our favorite Thursday night B-show. This week featured a triple main event. Sounds good, no? So was it thrice the fun than your average single main event shows in the past? Let’s get down to it.

You can tell the Blue Brand is trying to step up their game after a solid show last week. A triple main event sounds good on paper, indeed. Then you look at the card and you’ll definitely get hyped. A tables match, a title match, and a fun tag match. What’s not to like? Well, some of them, that’s what.

The Good: Chaos Engulfed the Tag Team Main Event




SmackDown went back to its roots by featuring an awesome tag team match to close the show, something they haven’t done for weeks now. Dean “Dean-O” Ambrose teamed up with the resident highflyer Neville to face the big KO, Kevin Owens, and the marked man Sheamus. These four opened the show as Ambrose first came out to challenge Owens to a Last Man Standing match at the Royal Rumble for the Intercontinental Championship, a fitting match for a chaotic rivalry. Sheamus then came out to avenge the nasty bump he got from last Monday’s match with the loony one. Owens followed suit to accept the challenge and the two heels cornered Dean with Neville coming in for the save.

The main event was a delight to watch. There was no better way to end the match other than a DQ and let chaos run its course. Eventually, Ambrose and Neville got the upper hand and the man that Creative forgot nailed Kevin Owens with a Red Arrow. Neville begging Ambrose before flying off the top rope was a nice touch. I really hope this main event raises Neville’s stock on the roster. Maybe he can now feud with Sheamus or he can also be Owens’ next rival when Ambrose sets his sights on beating Sheamus up. And how about the Last Man Standing match announcement? Now I’m all hyped for the Rumble.

Match Rating: 8/10.
Crazy and fun main event. It deserved to close the show.

The Bad: Probably the Lamest Tables Match

Kicking off the night's triple main event was a Tables match pitting table enthusiasts the Dudley Boyz against Erick Rowan Wyatt and Luke Harper Wyatt. As much as I love me some Dudleys table action, this match could’ve been better. I already know this rivalry is going nowhere, but we could at least squeeze a good last encounter between both teams. 




First off, both members of the opposing team should be put through a table to win, right? Bubba Ray shoved Luke Harper onto a table to get the win after wrestling for around five minutes. Where’s the fun in that? You can’t use time restraints as an excuse because after the match, the Wyatts laid out the Dudleys through multiple tables. If they had time for a meaningless post-match beatdown, shouldn’t they just let the match end there instead of ending the match prematurely? And where the hell was Bray Wyatt? I hope he’s not injured or something.

Match Rating: 6/10. The Dudleys have had better matches than this. You can skip this one.

The Nicely Done: The U.S. Title Tug-of-War


When I read the spoilers for the show and saw Alberto del Rio was going to win the U.S. title back from #Kalisto2016, I was ready to rage rant. Why would they derail the rise of Kalisto? Last Monday on RAW, Kalisto won the United States Championship from Old McBerty in an upset win. That moment was awesome. It was a roll-up win, but it was a clean win nonetheless. So why did they give the title back to ADR? Was Kalisto’s win just a ratings booster? I was pissed, but then I saw the actual match.



I have to say, it’s hard to argue with the decision after both wrestlers worked hard to tell a story. I enjoyed ADR’s aggressiveness, especially when he was targeting Kalisto’s arm. It reminds me of his earlier days in the WWE. Kalisto also played his role well, the underdog who is trying to plant his ground in the land of the giants. ADR eventually locked the Cross Armbreaker after King Barrett provided assistance to his League of Nations brother. The interference wasn’t really necessary for me, because ADR’s win would still be convincing. Creative better have something up their sleeves, because #Kalisto2016 just started. There’s no point in stopping now.

Match Rating: 8/10. It’s nice to know that a U.S. title match is considered a main event.

It’s Official: We Only Have Four Divas


This week, the Lass Kicker Becky Lynch defeated lady jobber Brie Bella in a match that merits the reaction ‘meh’. Sure, it made Becky look strong. What made my eyebrow raise was the fact that Brie Mode jobbed again. For the past few weeks, she was the resident jobber on a Diva roster where Alicia Fox clearly exists. Unless she’s injured, Alicia should be wrestling too. Where are Naomi and Tamina? Are they injured too? Who else is on the Divas roster?




Match Rating: 6/10. It is what it is. The Disarm-Her still looks badass, though.

Why Should We Care About the Social Outcasts?


The Social Outcasts continued their winning streak as they defeated the team of Goldust, Damien Sandow, Zack Ryder, and Jack Swagger. This match-up just raised more questions: Are the Social Outcasts heels again? Ryback saved this quartet from the heel Wyatts last Monday on RAW, so does that make them faces? Or is Ryback a heel now? But they challenged the Wyatts in the first place, so they should be faces, right? 



Bo accidentally kicked Slater during the match. Is that supposed to cause friction of some sort? Why are they winning? Is Curtis Axel still lost? Where was he found? Is Bo’s finisher really a bulldog? And is this how they will treat Damien Sandow’s return to SmackDown?

Match Rating: 5/10. I’m just glad to see the Broski Boot again.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: I’ll give credit where credit is due. This week was a good sign that Road Dogg and his team are really planning to make good shows in the coming weeks. The triple main event gimmick was a nice try; two hits out of three is not bad at all. I’ll give this episode a B for its troubles.

EXPRESS THOUGHTS:

  • Mauro Ranallo stepped up his game faster than I expected. This week, he was able to gel well with the program. I instantly felt at home with his neutral and topical style of commentating. He knows his wrestling history and can easily name every move he sees. With the help of Lawler’s innate talent to be an annoying asshole and Byron’s goody-goody yet bland persona, the SmackDown commentary team is now something to watch out for. The next voice of the WWE is on his way and he’s sitting next to a king who’s back to his old, natural self.

  • For the record, Rey Mysterio didn’t eliminate 29 men in the 2006 Royal Rumble. 29 head scissors are exhausting, you know.

  • Maybe it’s just my lack of sleep talking, but I want Neville to win the Royal Rumble. That would be great.

  • Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown? Are you pissed Kalisto lost the U.S. title? Do you miss the Sasha Banks Section, too? Where is Dolph Ziggler? Leave your answers down in the comments below.

Photos from WWE.

*****



Ricky Jay Publico is a wrestling fan who enjoys watching high flyers and brawlers battle it out in the ring. A known Botchamania binge-watcher, he claims to have memorized the chronological order of Royal Rumble winners, but fails to remember who won in 2004. He writes stories about life and nonsense.


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